BUSINESSES across the district can now take advantage of new more-flexible funding to boost broadband speeds.

The Government-backed Digital Enterprise programme has been extended to offer funding for a wider range of connectivity and broadband projects.

Grants of between £500 and £1,000 to cover costs are available to help firms held back by slow broadband speeds.

Connectivity vouchers were initially launched in 2017 as a one-off £1,000 contribution towards improving connection speeds for companies in the Leeds City Region, which includes Keighley.

But the vouchers have now been extended to cover the costs of smaller projects, making them more widely available to small and medium-sized enterprises.

The funding can be used to cover most of the costs involved in securing a faster broadband connection, including hardware such as firewalls and routers, as well as software, installation costs, ethernet cabling, virtual servers and project management fees.

Businesses can apply if their current broadband speed is less than 30mbps, or if they plan to double the speed of a connection that is already 30mbps or faster.

Muz Mumtaz, who heads the Digital Enterprise programme, said: “We wanted to make the connectivity vouchers even more accessible to businesses in Bradford and the Leeds City Region, and by broadening our funding we can get more companies equipped with faster broadband speeds that are essential to compete, whether at a regional, national or global level.

“In many cases our connectivity voucher can cover the total cost of upgrading a business’ broadband connection.”

He added: “It’s really simple to apply and through our connectivity voucher and digital growth voucher programmes, Digital Enterprise has already helped over 700 Yorkshire businesses to boost their broadband connectivity and upgrade their digital technology with a total of £3.4m investment since 2017.

“The great news is that this investment is expected to create over 1,800 new jobs across the Leeds City Region.

“There are a limited number of connectivity vouchers available and once they are gone they’re gone, so I would urge businesses which want to improve their broadband speeds to apply now before it is too late.”

For further information about connectivity vouchers, and to apply online, go to

Digital Enterprise is funded by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, its nine local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund.